Spain open their 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign again Costa Rica at the Wellington Regional Stadium on Friday.
SPA-W vs CRC-W Match Details
Date: Friday, 21 July 2023
Time: 13:00 (IST) / 17:00 (ACT)
Venue: Wellington Regional Stadium, Wellington
SPA-W vs CRC-W Match Preview
The Women’s World Cup finally arrives for Spain amid their noise off the pitch of revolting players in feud with their federation and manager Jorge Vilda. Some has returned after withdrawing from the national team last summer while others have maintained their stance. There are others who have not been selected from the mutiny group like goalkeeper Sandra Panos or forward Lucia Garcia. La Roja have to cope with the situation and focus on the pitch for the time being at the greatest stage of all. So far, there has been no sign of disruption as the reintroduction of stars like Ona Battle, Alexia Putellas, Aitana Bonmarti, and Mariona Caldentey has flooded in goals and wins for the team in the friendlies. While all have come against lower-ranked sides than them, Spain have been ruthless in their approach and will be bringing that to the table in the finals. Despite playing their recognizable artistic football, the nation has struggled to assert themselves on the big stage having qualified to the Women’s World Cup just twice before. This being their third appearance consecutively. The run to the round of 16 last time is the highest they managed in the tournament. They also reached the quarterfinals of the Euros forcing eventual winners England to make a comeback in extra time after taking the lead in the match. Spain feels they are making the steps to progress and a deeper run in this tournament will really help. La Roja will face Costa Rica in the opener in search of a victory that will carry the momentum for the side.
Las Ticas could not have imagined a more hard start to their life at the 2023 Women’s World Cup. Facing a Spanish squad that has been marooning opposition of late and have lost just once in the last 14 games. Costa Rica will remember their efforts of holding La Roja's 1-1 draw in both sides’ debut game in the Women’s World Cup back in 2015 as a source of motivation. But doing so against this supposed ‘golden generation’ of the women’s team will be difficult with their own best generation. They are also clubbed with 2011 winners Japan and Zambia with their scary attack. The side ended in the group stages eight years ago and a similar faith might await here as well. Their form is also not great to change with only one win in the last 11 matches. That victory also came against fellow CONCACAF nation Haiti. However, that does not mean the nation from North America will go out with a whimper and not give a fight. Costa Rica qualified for the 2023 Women’s World Cup by finishing second in their 2022 CONCACAF Women’s Championship group, also reaching the knockouts of the competition. The team will hope to be a strong defensive unit against the sizzling Spanish attack although as Panama and Vietnam have felt in the 7-0 and 9-0 defeats respectively, any wrong step will promote demolition that could end their spirits in the first match itself. Their men’s side faced a similar fate against the same opponent on the World Cup stage last year.
SPA-W vs CRC-W Predicted Lineups
SPA-W: Misa Rodriguez; Ona Batlle, Laia Codina, Irene Paredes, Olga Carmona; Aitana Bonmati, Tere Abelleira, Alexia Putellas; Salma Paralluelo, Jenni Hermoso, Mariona Caldentey
CRC-W: Daniele Solera; Carol Sánchez, Mariana Benavides, Fabiola Villalobos, Gabriela Guillen; Gloriana Villalobos, Katherine Alvarado, Raquel Rodriguez, Cristin Granados, Priscila Chinchilla; Melissa Herrera
SPA-W vs CRC-W Dream11 Team Prediction
GK: M Rodriguez (7.5)
DEF: Battle (7.5), Paredes (8.5), C Sanchez (7.5)
MID: Putellas (9), Alvardo (8.5), Chinchilla (8.5), Bonmati (8)
FW: R Rodriguez (9), Hermoso (9) Caldentey (8)
Vice-captain: Jenni Hermoso
Captain: Alexia Putellas